A Rose Is A Rose… Not!

Blog Entry #3
Starbucks, Brentwood Village, California
6:34 pm

I don’t know, I got stung by a beauty bee yesterday evening. I went to get my mail from the apartment complex mailbox which is on the edge of a nice courtyard near the pool and there right in front of me was a perfectly opened and formed rose.

I usually stop to smell roses – especially the yellow-hued ones because the roses in the yellow and orange tints often are very fragrant. Not the white ones. I’ve never found a white rose that had any fragrance. Have you? If you have, let me know which one.

I used to be a photographer for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City as one of their main contract photographers. One of my favorite things to do while wandering the endless rows of studio spaces in the photo building, was to stop at the end of the building where all of the flower arrangements were shot. There was an Italian man, I think his name was Mario, who had been there a long time and I loved to watch what he did. He had these beautiful stucco walls built for him and painted and aged so that when they ended up on cards, they could have been shot in Merano, Italy – City of Flowers. He seemed like he absolutely loved his job. The photos he designed and took were incredible, creating fingers of late afternoon light with filtered banks of lights off in the corner of the room flooding across his wall. If you’re ever in Kansas City, Missouri (no one I know goes to Kansas City, Kansas!), stop in at Hallmark and take a tour. It is one of the best places I have ever worked. I could go on and on but that’s another post.

This is the rose that was in the courtyard. Click on it to see a bigger version in a new window. It was dusk, the light was almost gone and I had to take it quick. But I don’t like straight camera flash – too harsh for me – so I shot at about 1/30 of second at a wide aperture and used a combination of flash and ambient light (camera flash set to SLOW – try it). I might have looked a bit strange out there taking about 30 photos of the same thing but I had to keep refocusing because the light was low. That, and the fact that I was using a piece of toilet paper over the flash element to dim it and soften it. I then used Adobe Photoshop to enhance it and bring out the attributes in the rose that I saw with my eyes. I have been using Photoshop for 15 years, so I kind of know what I’m doing with it and probably make it look easy. Email me if you need a tip!

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I do! If you want to use it, please ask me first. It’s not polite to use other people’s photos for your own website without asking. Unless it’s in the Public Domain. Besides, as would happen to me, the great god of Copyright will zap you if you rely on any kind of copyright protection for your own work. Thanks!

I will be posting more photos from time to time and eventually, Videos! So check back often and tell your friends! Salut!

I AM the CoffeeHouse Blogger. Hear me type!

ABOUT THIS COFFEE SHOP:
For being in the middle of Brentwood Village (remember O.J. lived in Brentwood?) this is one of the smaller, but nicer Starbucks. AND, it’s got two comfy chairs even though it’s small. There’s hoity toity people, but they tend to only sit outside where they can be seen. Inside, there’s a counter along the window that you can sit at with your laptop and watch people walk by. And watch the luxury vehicles roll past.

But wait, I’ll take you to a Starbuck’s in Beverly Hills at some point and we’ll have some REAL fun, there.

I go to this Starbucks on a regular basis because I have a computer tutoring client in Brentwood Village – Jack, 92! (another post!) – and because my friend Brent and I stop here before Bible Study sometimes. OOPS! Don’t tell his wife! HAHA!

The place is usually clean and I had a sandwich here tonight. Tuna fish. I always want one but they are always dry. They should make ’em like I make ’em… The music is not too loud and this is one of the rare Starbucks without a local Designated Character. There are some DC’s that wander past outside, but not inside. If you know of one there, let me know. I’ll find out about some of the baristas there and ask them revealing personal questions. I have no shame – Gringo sin vergüenza!

No, this is just a solid, consistently good Starbucks. Go there or be square!

Starbucks Coffee Company
11700 Barrington Court, Brentwood Village, California 90049

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